Do you want Google's new branding on your site?

What do you think of the new-style AdSense ads where the Google
logo is more prominent?

Personally I don't like them.

I don't care if they are apparently good for click through
rates (I need more evidence).

What I do care about is that they show Google stamping their
brand more and more heavily across the internet, which is what
you'd expect from a monopoly player in the market.

It's come at a bad time.

A year or two back, Google could do little wrong and it was a
positive thing to appear to have any association with them.
Now though, things have changed.

Google is dominant and is behaving like a corporate monster.
Google is also beginning to irritate a large number of internet
users who are just the sort of people who visit your site.

Take the YouTube acquisition. Google now offers for free,
intellectual property in the form of TV shows, movies, training
courses etc. that other companies spent billions of dollars
developing. And now that advertising has appeared on YouTube,
Google is making money off someone else's investment.

Knowingly and with planned intention.

Suppose you'd invested a lot of money creating and selling
movies and then one day, Google sets up a shop next door to you
and gives copies of your movies away free รข€“ without paying you
any licence fees.

You couldn't compete but you would be entirely reasonable to

"Oh don't worry" says Google. "We have a mission to
organize the world's information and, besides, our corporate
motto is 'Don't be evil' so we're obviously not being

Having spoken recently to a lot of AdWords advertisers and
AdSense publishers I detect a growing unease about Google.
They've upset a lot of people with the Google slap. They talk
about how you need to increase the quality of your website to
avoid it.

That sounds ok, even positive.

But who decides what is good?

Google does. Google is now judging your website and, what's
more, they won't come clean and tell you what a "good"
website is except in very vague terms (the Google Uncertainty
Principle again).

And they get it wrong.

But if they don't like you or your website, you are
effectively out of business.

That is Google power and it is in the hands of people who
aren't behaving like innocent good guys any more even if they
think they are.

Seriously, is that how you want the web to develop?

The solution, of course, is for either Yahoo or MSN (preferably
both and others) to get their act together and become a
competitive force. But they are far behind Google. It seems
obvious to me that the CEO of Yahoo ought to be sacked
immediately and replaced with someone who has the drive and
capability to take on Google before this kind of dominance
becomes truly detrimental to the internet. Yahoo has turned into
a slow moving corporation with all the agility of a dizzy
hippopotamus on an ice rink.

It is not a good online survival tactic.

Let's look at their Search Marketing System that competes,
badly, with Google's: much less traffic and an atrocious
control panel. But apart from being stupidly designed (just log
on to a Google AdWords account to see how to do things properly
boys) I think it has an architectural problem that is holding up
the roll out of YPN (the Yahoo AdSense competitor). If you
advertise on Yahoo in several different countries, you have
several different Yahoo accounts. This discourages international
advertising but it also makes it harder for Yahoo to integrate
Search Marketing with YPN.

I've also read in many places that people who have been allowed
to beta test YPN have been banned if they get too much non-US

Well Duh!

And Duh again!

Since when has the internet been a US-only thing? Wake up Yahoo.
I think you'll find that the majority of the world does not
live in the US as a matter of fact.

Yahoo does get right a few things though. You can talk to them
on the 'phone! That is a good and rare thing these days. Long
may it last.

Rant over?

Not quite. Google bought DoubleClick a few weeks back. It owns
Blogger. It is taking over the Yellow Pages market. More market
dominance. Less choice for advertisers. More monopolistic

I won't get into any details about the way they are scanning
books without publishers' consents and making them available
online and I'll only mention in passing that they know a lot,
lot more about you than you might think or want.

So back to my original question.

Don't get me wrong. AdSense is a great tool for website owners
but from time to time you need to review whether you want to be
blatantly associated with Google. You probably do right now for
the money alone.

But you should at least think it over from time to time and
there really ought, by now, to be a decent competitor.

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